Thursday, June 28, 2012


Editing is not one of my favorite things to do, but it's probably the most important step in the writing process. I'm reading book #2 AGAIN and this time I'm looking at the sentence structure only. I'm making sure my word choices are consistent and my verbs are all correctly congugated. I'm removing extra spaces that somehow snuck into the paragraphs and I'm looking up words in the dictionary to verify my use is correct. Everyone thinks that English majors are grammar freaks that can pick apart a sentence and tell you all their fancy names. That isn't me. I studied English for the literature, the beautiful flow of words on a page. Hopefully when I'm finished with this book, it will be cleaner than Missing Maggie. I plan on editing it two more times---I'm determined to get it right.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

My son is writing

I've always known he was a good writer, but I just didn't think he would sit down to type on the computer without an assignment prompting him. The other day though, my 11-year-old typed out 1000 words. This is summer vacation, mind you! I thought I might burst into tears.There he was sitting on the couch, netbook on his lap, and get this, THE TV WASN'T ON. Shocking. Is it possible he's even tired of watching that hunk of junk?

I haven't read his story yet because I'm afraid I'll say something to make him stop. Moms have a way of doing that you know. They butt in when they shouldn't but they can't help themselves. It is so hard to keep our mouths shut! I can only hope that he continues with his story and turns it into something wonderful. Maybe he'll even let me post it here.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

It was too much

A scene in book #2 that was meant to give more insight into my main character, Kody Burkoff, was too much for my draft readers. Not a one of them liked the scene the way it was written. Their main complaint was that it seemed uncharacteristic of Kody. I've read those same pages about a billion times trying to justify to myself that Kody would indeed react the way it's currently written. I've been incredibly stubborn about making changes---until yesterday. I deleted all the disruptive description I used and ramped up the emotion. I think I was looking to shock the reader, but it backfired on me. I was portraying Kody in a negative way. It didn't go over so well. This just goes to show how important it is to ask for early feedback.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Too many characters?

In the feedback I received on the draft copy of book #2, a couple readers commented that I introduced too many characters early on. I hadn't noticed that until I printed out the TOC that I use to keep track of what's going on in the story. They're right. I do introduce quite a few and can see how they might get confused. Some of the characters are new and some of them are from Missing Maggie. I've been studying the TOC trying to come up with ways to move characters around, but I'm afraid that I'll mess up the timing and the flow of the rest of the story. The movement of chapters and characters has to be strategically planned out. I'm at a standstill right now. It looks like it's another issue I'll have to sit on for a few more days.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

A realist and a dreamer

Yesterday when I admitted to wanting the cover of a local magazine, I couldn't help but be reminded of the differences between my husband and I. He has always been shooting for me to get the cover of Oprah. You see, he's the dreamer. He sees my name in headlines and at the top of the best seller's lists. He buys a lottery ticket and envisions winning millions. He sees our oldest son playing professional sports with us travelling the country in our RV watching every game.

I, on the other hand, am a realist. I just want to get on a list, any list. I never buy a lottery ticket because I know I won't win. I hope my son goes to college and includes me in his life. Listing it off like this makes me sound really boring. But I can't imagine life if we were both dreamers. We'd be in serious trouble. We'd also have a lot of fun.

Here's to my fun, dreamy husband on our 14th anniversary! I love you.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

1000 copies sold!

I did it! I reached my original goal of selling 1000 copies of Missing Maggie. Back in October of last year, I honestly thought 1000 was quite a stretch. The pessimist in me figured once my friends and family had told a few of their friends, the cycle would stop there. No sirree! Sales are better than ever and I feel even more confident about my new career because book #2 is looking mighty fine.

Included with my goal of selling 1000 copies was to somehow make the cover of Rochester Women magazine. I realize that it's a pretty lofty goal since there are probably several women writers in the area who have reached the same milestone. I just think it would be cool since this is the magazine that lit the fire in me to take a chance at writing. I'll at least make an attempt by sending an email or two and see what happens. You never know unless you try, right?

Thank you, readers, for your support of Missing Maggie and your support of me. It is greatly appreciated.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Summer writing

School is out and summer has officially begun, which means a lot of great things. It means staying up late having fun with friends and family, making s'mores around the campfire, swimming at the lake, taking a trip or two, and relaxing in the sun wishing it will never end. However, summer also means having less time to write. I can't blame it all on my kids, although I try my best, but I find it incredibly difficult to sit down on the hard chairs at the kitchen table while the sights and sounds of summer are right outside my window. It's so much easier to write when snow blankets the ground and the temperature is below 40 degrees.

With my current writing and self-publishing goals, I'll have to make time somehow. I'll have to excuse myself to the library on rainy days when my husband is home, or strategically schedule simultaneous play dates for the kids and lock myself in the smelly basement without any windows. Actually, ripping that damn carpet out is at the top of my to-do list so eventually it will make for the perfect little hideout. Continuing to get up early is always a great option too. Eh, I'm not going to stress it too much. I'm having way too much fun with this book to slack off now.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Loving the feedback

The feedback I'm receiving on the draft of book #2 is exactly what I was looking for. My readers took their time and have pointed out grammatical errors along with errors in thought. They've brought up points I never considered. They've also brought up points that I had hoped I covered well enough. I've had to put a lot of thought into some of their suggestions. I'm taking it slow though. Much like coming up with a new plot, I'm writing down ideas and then stepping away. I hope to have a complete manuscript ready by the end of July. At that time, I'll put my editor's cap on. It isn't the best way to go, but it's what's going to have to happen.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Remember the audience

When brainstorming ideas for the next book I find myself going off in all sorts of directions, which is good, but I must also keep my audience in mind. I need to think about the readers that loved Missing Maggie and why they loved it. I need to pay attention to which characters they were drawn to and which parts of the plot they found less appealing. These readers are the ones that will most likely buy the next book, and in turn, tell their friends and family. If I stray too far from my original work, I fear I'll lose the small group of readers that are interested in my writing. With this being said, I'm rethinking Kody's next major client, Evelyn. I can still use her and I think I'm on the right path, but I'll tone down a few of her quirky traits. She will be as real as your next door neighbor.